Evo-Stik League Southern Division One Central
Slough Town emerged victorious from the Robert Parker Stadium after goals either side of half time saw them come from behind to beat Ashford. Alex Duffy gave the home side the lead in bizarre circumstances when his corner curled straight in midway through the first half. Slough equalised in first half stoppage time through Danny Burnell, before Ollie Burgess scored what proved to be the winner in the 47th minute.
Ashford started the game brightly, with Pietro Paladino looking particularly lively in attack. He had the first chance of the match after three minutes, but saw his shot blocked away for a corner, which slough goalkeeper James Warrington fumbled onto the bar. Slough then had a couple of chances of their own, Steve Sinclair firing over after good work from Jerome Anderson led to the opportunity. Ashford ‘keeper Paul McCarthy then produced a brilliant point blank save to deny Anderson a couple of minutes later after the home defence failed to deal with a drilled cross from the left.
The home fans were soon cheering, though. A brilliant counter attack down the left, involving Ed Thomas, Ashley Lodge and Alex Duffy ended with a chance for striker Matt Harmsworth. He turned and shot, but Warrington was able to save the effort fairly comfortably. Ashford continued to press though, and took the lead through Duffy’s bizarre corner. His left footed kick curled over everyone and into the top corner. It is a good few years since I have seen that happen! This gave the Tangerines confidence, and they almost doubled the lead two minutes later through Harmsworth. He lifted the ball over Warrington, but the effort didn’t have enough pace on it, and the ball was cleared off the line.
Slough dominated the remainder of the half, and should have levelled earlier than they did. Just after the half hour, Burnell headed straight at McCarthy from Sinclair’s cross when it looked easier to score. Two minutes before the break, a long throw evaded the home defence, and Anderson headed powerfully at goal, but McCarthy was equal to it and tipped it over the bar. It was only a temporary reprieve though. Sinclair saw his shot saved, but Ashford failed to clear, and the ball ended up with Darren Burnell. He turned and fired past McCarthy from a narrow angle.
Half time: Ashford Town (Middlesex) 1 Slough Town 1.
The second half started in the same vein as the first, with the visitors attacking, and they were soon in front. Swift had the first chance, but fired wide from the edge of the area. From their next attack, however, they did score. McCarthy saved well from Anderson, but the ball fell to Ollie Burgess outside the box, and the midfielder volleyed the ball expertly through a crowd into the corner of the net to give Slough the lead. After this, Ashford did get themselves into the match, but were unable to force an equaliser. Harry Knock fired a loose ball over the bar, before Ashley Lodge went on a fine individual run, but his rasping drive went narrowly over from twenty yards.
Ashford’s manager made his substitutions in an attempt to rescue a point, but to no avail. Slough held on for what was probably a deserved win, although Ashford will maybe feel they should have had a draw. The result leaves Ashford in eleventh place in the Evo-Stik Division One Central table, while Slough remain second, three points behind leaders St. Neot’s Town.
Ashford: McCarthy, Kazi (Luckins), Thomas, Canderton(c), Mullan, Knock, Bitmead (Fountain), Lodge, Harmsworth (Rapson), Paladino, Duffy. Subs not used: Moody, Windegaard.